Suspected Drunk Driver Slams Into SXSW Crowd in Austin
Police say a suspected drunk driver killed two people and injured 23 after crashing into a crowd at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
A local Austin girl on the back of a moped and a young man from the Netherlands who was on a bicycle were killed, according to police. William La Jeunesse reported that the crash happened after police tried to pull over the suspected drunk driver. He hit the gas, drove the wrong way on a one-way street and slammed into the crowd.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said the motorist plowed into people gathered in front of an emptying nightclub around 12:30 a.m., injuring 25 people, five critically. He eventually crashed and tried to make a getaway on foot. A police officer shocked him with a stun gun and took him into custody, Acevedo said at a news conference.
The driver, whose name was not released, faces two counts of capital murder and multiple counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle. He was treated for minor injuries and turned over to police, said Dr. Christopher Ziebell, the emergency department director at the University Medical Center-Brackenridge.
Two people were in critical condition Thursday morning with life-threatening head injuries and three patients remain in serious condition, he added. A total of eight people remain hospitalized.
In a similar incident in Santa Monica, the city paid $21 million to victims after a car plowed through a farmer’s market.
La Jeunesse said that while the driver is responsible, it’s possible a claim could be filed against the city.